Pittsburgh & the World--Bringing Human Rights Home
In 2019-2020, the United States is undergoing a comprehensive human rights assessment through the United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. Pittsburgh community leaders will be working with other Human Rights Cities to provide local documentation and recommendations for this review of the US human rights record (See: UPR Cities Project). A UPR Pittsburgh Planning Committee made up of community organizers and representatives from City agencies working to advance human rights is producing a report for the UN's Universal Periodic Review and using this to shape ongoing conversations about human rights in our region.
We're working to compile reports on the state of human rights in our region while also building networks to help promote better human rights practices. Following the submission of our report to the UN, we'll continue to build on that and engage residents in consultations about local human rights conditions as we develop strategies for realizing human rights in our communities. In mid-Februrary 2020 we'll release a local human rights report, in preparation for the United Nations review of the U.S. national human rights record. We'll be working with cities around the country to help draw attention to this global conversation about human rights and the responsibility of governments at all levels to do much more to carry out their obligations under international human rights law.
Our reports will be used to promote public awareness and policy responses to our regional human rights conditions and to build political will—that is, a broad-based political constituency that is vocal and active in support and defense of human rights for all residents. A key goal of the UPR Cities initiative is movement-building to build the political will, skills, and collective momentum to carry out these recommendations and re-orient our community so that human rights are the top priority—not a by-product of economic growth and conventional “development.” We want UPR City activities we do support the ongoing work by community and grassroots organizations and to broaden our networks of mutual support and cooperation for human rights.
This work is being led and coordinated by the Pittsburgh Universal Periodic Review task force, which includes: Alliance for Police Accountability, Casa San Jose, Hill District Consensus Group, Pittsburgh for CEDAW, Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance, Just Harvest, City of Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission & Gender Equity Commission, Urbankind Institute, and others. NOTE: Virtually all of our work is strictly volunteer: We have no grants or paid staff supporting this work, so volunteers are needed and most welcome to help us build this effort!
Submissions to the United Nations
- Racial Inequity at the Core of Human Rights Challenges in Pittsburgh -Full Pittsburgh Stakeholder Report to United Nations Universal Periodic Review of the U.S. Government, 2-Page Summary
- Pittsburgh joins other US Cities in UN Report: "Corporate Influence Threatens Human Rights in Communities Nationwide" (*For more details on the national campaign see UPR Cities Initiative).
- Monday, November 11, 6:00-8:00PM Human Rights Community Forum: Human Rights & Health 1 Smithfield Street, Downtown PGH, Homestead Grays Room. Co-sponsored by: The Pittsburgh Universal Periodic Review task force, which includes: Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance, Casa san Jose, Hill District Consensus Group, Pittsburgh for CEDAW, Just Harvest, City of Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission & Gender Equity Commission, and others. Food will be provided. See UPR Cities Initiative Facebook link
- Monday, December 9, 6:00-8:00PM Human Rights Community Forum: Human Rights & Decent Work 1 Smithfield Street, Downtown PGH, Homestead Grays Room.Co-sponsored by: The Pittsburgh Universal Periodic Review task force, which includes: Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance, Casa san Jose, Hill District Consensus Group, Pittsburgh for CEDAW, Just Harvest, City of Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission & Gender Equity Commission, and others. Food will be provided. See UPR Cities Initiative
- January 25, 2020 Pittsburgh Racial Justice Summit
- Our Community Forum Series will continue with monthly gatherings in 2020
- Target date for Local Human Rights UPR assessment: February 15, 2020
- U.S. Universal Periodic Review at United Nations in Geneva, May 2020
Next Steps: Pittsburgh Joins National Lobby Days
The 2019-2020 United Nations Review of the United States human rights record provides an important opportunity for us to build support for more people-centered national and local policies. Organizers in Pittsburgh and in cities and communities across the U.S. have submitted our report to the UN on the human rights challenges faced by cities around the country. Our next step is to send delegations of grassroots human rights defenders to lobby UN officials in New York, Washington DC, and Geneva to bring our human rights priorities and recommendations into the official proceedings of the US Universal Periodic Review. We need you to help support this delegation with your donation!
Please help us build on the powerful work of grassroots human rights activists and help us show the international community that despite the actions of the Trump Administration, US residents believe in human rights and are working hard to “bring them home!” We know from past work that grassroots organizers can have a powerful impact on the thinking of international officials, and the experience of seeing the United Nations in action can help our movements develop creative ideas for using these mechanisms to build power. Please make a contribution to support Pittsburgh’s delegation. Working together, we can amplify our voices in the global conversation about how we can improve human rights conditions for more of the world’s people.
- Coalition to U.N.: Human rights in Pittsburgh are lagging for people of color, people with low incomes Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 15 October, 2019
- Pittsburgh files human rights report to the UN & Passes City Zero Evictions Day Proclamation -Pittsburgh activist groups and city leaders are submitting a report on local human rights conditions to the United Nations, centering the problem of racial inequities and its impacts on residents' right to adequate housing. Without secure and safe housing, no other rights can be realized.
- Immigration rights are human rights, speakers at Downtown forum say Pittsburgh Post-Gazette August 6, 2019. Coverage of our UPR Cities Roundtable on the Rights of Immigrants and Refugees in the Pittsburgh Region.
NEWS: Cross-City and Global Initiative for Human Rights Cities
- Corporate Influence Threatens Human Rights in Communities Nationwide Common Dreams October 28, 2019
- Bringing Human Rights Home: New Strategies for Local Organizing Open Global Rights, By Jackie Smith & Joshua Cooper-U.S. Human Rights Cities Alliance, August 1, 2018.
- For more details see the UPR Cities Initiative.